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Old 12-06-2012, 04:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 2
Spacedout45 HB User
Talking Ritalin Noob

Hello Everyone. I found this site looking for some answers, and some of the posts were very lucid. Anyway I'm 45, and recently been diagnosed with moderate ADD. I pretty much knew something was up since grade school, but learned self coping skills along the way and had a wonderful wife who put up with me and managed my life. She passed away 10 months ago and I have been struggling as a single parent with 2 minor children. My business tanked (construction) and I work for someone else now, and therein lies my conundrum.

I'm really good at writing down my daily to do list, setting up predictable routines, and such. I'm really really bad at spacing out.(or very good at it). This has been a life long problem. I space off all the time and have zero control over it. Up until lately it has not been a problem in my life, but now that I work with other people, it's very noticealbe and a HUGE problem. I have already been canned from two jobs because of it.

I talked to my doctor about it and he put me on Adderall. God that stuff was horrible. I did take it for 3 weeks to give it a try, but the awful side effects were just to much. Now he has me on Concerta 18mg. Been on it for 2 weeks, and there have been no side effects at all. I don't really feel much of a mental benefit from it, and I'm still zoning out.

My question to you guys is, can medications help with the zoning out problem? (My doctor was kinda vague on this matter) Or is this a curse that I I'm going to have to deal with some other way. Thanks for any and all replies.

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Old 12-09-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indiana, PA, USA
Posts: 6
Vashtia HB User
Re: Ritalin Noob

Yes, medication can absolutely help with the zoning out problem. I haven't taken Adderall or Concerta so I'm not familiar with how they work and the side effects.

I am currently on Ritalin and it helps me to focus and concentrate on my studies. I'm a 56 year old non-traditional student who's determined to get a degree and find a different career path. If I go unmedicated, I can't follow the instructor's lecture and I feel like I'm in some sort of brain fog.

Before Ritalin, I was on Dextrostat and that helped a lot, too. I stopped taking it a couple months ago because the cost went through the roof. I don't have health insurance and so I needed an ADD medication that I could pay for myself.

It may be that your Dr doesn't believe people actually get ADD or that he isn't all that familiar with ADD in general. I'd ask him if he would try you on Ritalin to see if that won't help you. I had a situation where the Dr didn't know much about ADD and ended up going to see someone else.

Old 12-09-2012, 08:50 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Portland Oregon
Posts: 2
Spacedout45 HB User
Re: Ritalin Noob

Thank you Vashtia. Concerta is Ritalin extended release type. I started with 18mg and tomorrow im going up to 27mg. It's great to hear that you understand what I am experiencing. I'm more hopeful now about my future.

Old 12-11-2012, 04:00 PM   #4
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Indiana, PA, USA
Posts: 6
Vashtia HB User
Re: Ritalin Noob

Sounds like you may not be on a therapeutic dose yet. Some Drs start out at a ridiculously low dose ... not sure why ... to frustrate us? For me, with Ritalin, I do best with 40 mg in the morning and 40 mg later in the day.

Good to hear you're feeling more hopeful about the future. Sometimes I wonder if being ADD caused some of my depression.

Old 12-16-2012, 05:42 AM   #5
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Re: Ritalin Noob

Originally Posted by Vashtia View Post
Some Drs start out at a ridiculously low dose ... not sure why ...
I'll try to shed some light on this. I apologize in advance if I come off as a know it all, but I think this is an important question, and people need to understand this.

There is another regular poster to this board that is extremely sensitive to stimulants. This poster has more or less quit stimulants, and when she does take Adderall, sticks to a dose of about 5mg. On the other hand, I tend to require in excess of what is usually considered the maximum therapeutic dose before I see positive effect. We have both found significant symptom relief from the same meds, but the doses we use to get that effect couldn't be more different.

When I first came to this board (~2008), the standard practice in the medical field for starting someone on a stimulant med was starting at the lowest possible dosage and stepping up over a matter of weeks until the dosage was high enough to work, or it was decided the medication was ineffective. In the intervening years this practice seems to have changed, judging by the number of people coming here complaining of severe side effects and euphoric highs followed by horrific crashes. Many doctors now seem to be throwing people in the deep end, so to speak, and this is leading to a lot of people having extremely negative experiences.

Finding the right med for treating your ADHD can be a very long and extremely frustrating experience. I myself spent two years trying a succession of options at different doses and combinations before I found what worked for me. The difference in my symptoms, however, since I found the right combo at the right dose can only be described as magical. Sadly, I have developed resistance to my meds over the last couple of years, and my effect has declined, an unfortunate feature of pharmaceutical ADHD treatment.

My psychiatrist started me on a new medication recently, and despite our previous experiences with my high level of tolerance, he started me at the lowest possible dose. While I know this means I won't see any effect right away, I took this as further confirmation that I have an excellent doctor. Starting low is the right way.

Spacedout45 - You're on the right track. It might take time, and might be frustrating, but keep the faith - it sounds like you have a smart doctor.

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